I have always struggled with music.
After my born again experience, I heard a lot of fellow church members talking about how all mainstream music was wrong, satanic, and just not good for the soul. I deleted all of the secular songs from my computer and my IPod, which, looking back on it, wasn't a bad move. A lot of songs reminded me of moments in my past that I shouldn't have been recalling on a daily basis.
However, over the years, I began to explore international music as a part of my language study. I listened to Arabic, Russian, Ukrainian, Israeli music. Very slowly, I began adding some secular groups back to my library.
Around this time, I was honestly a bit tired of CCM. No offense to any CCM artists, but for the most part, they are repetitive and many of them sound like cheap copies of famous secular bands or singers. (Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy several CCM singers, but this is my opinion about the genre in general.) I was also a bit disgusted with how some artists churned out worship CDs, special edition CDs, etc., several times a year, presumably just for the money.
I began going back to my old music, picking and choosing a few songs that were not good for my spirit and deleting those completely. I was relieved to use the elliptical while listening to Ace of Base (hey, I have a weakness for 90s Europop!) again.
At this time, I met my now husband, who is a BIG metal fan. I never liked metal, but I began liking some of the symphonic metal (aka wimpy metal
) bands, sort of a dark opera/pop style. I went through their lyrics before downloading the songs. Now, most of them aren't Christian at all (although some of the bands are!), but they mainly sing about pagan themes or vaguely reference God.
I made sure that I wasn't listening to anything that was really dark (I can't stand screaming or growling) and I generally don't have a feeling like I do when my husband plays some of his music. (I have this feeling like I can't breathe, like I'm suffocating. It's weird to explain. Thankfully, he doesn't listen those bands any more.)
Now, I'm not going to lie. Some of the lyrics are really not great, and I feel ashamed when I catch myself singing them out loud. I don't buy into their religious or political views, but I do admire the artistry and well-written lyrics. It's something I struggle with pretty often. God's working on me, I guess.
I don't go to concerts or follow bands, so music isn't such a big issue with me. I mean, I DO read books written by non-believers and I can admire the writing style of authors who are not Christian. I do have to be constantly mindful of what I read. I view this as a similar issue.